BreakingNews 17/3/16 - The Foundations Have Been Badly Fractured That We Have To Rebuild Nigeria says APC National Chairman

[ Masterweb Reports ] - The APC national chairman, Chief John Odigie Oyegun was in Madrid Spain on March 4, 2016 to meet with the APC supporters Spain chapter. The group led by Steven Adeayo Tella and their spokesperson and media director Prince Kelly Udebhulu hosted the chairman to a dinner party and press session. The press session was covered by Masterweb Special Correspondent - Spain and the Daily Independent foreign correspondent, Uchendu Precious Onuoha, and media crew from Zenith magazine. Below are the excerpts of the interview with Chief Oyegun with Onuoha.


Que. As the chairman of APC the ruling party in Nigeria, what are your achievements and challenges so far?


Ans. I would say am lucky and privileged to be the first national chairman of course there was one interim chairman before. It was a privilege to be entrusted with that respect. I am running a party that rose up from the ashes of 3 to 4 other major parties, the ACN, NDP, CPC, part of APGA and others. And they turned it into a fighting force, of course with the intense cooperation of a lot of other major stakeholders of the party; we were able to turn it into a fighting force that succeeded in upstaging the government that was in office at that time which a lot of people thought and believed until the last minute it was not doable. For obvious reasons, it has never happened before, because they had access to so much resources and patronage that a lot of people thought it was undoable. But the good thing is that at that time, the Nigerian public was generally fed up with 16 years of PDP government.


The Nigerian public wanted a new direction, the Nigerian public was yearning for integrity, they needed leaders they could trust in governance and leaders they could believe in. On top of the stage so to say was such a personality in the person of Muhammadu Buhari, who is now president of the nation. And it was so clear, it was so obvious that he was the kind of person the nation needed at this period, a man who is transparent, obviously incorruptible, a man of very strong will and mind. And the only person who had the type of courage that it takes like we are experiencing today to tackle the MONSTER called corruption. I would say, it has been a pleasure, a wonderful experience, tough and difficult. I had to rely majorly on the compassionate cooperation of other stakeholders that together made the victory possible.


Que. Many Nigerians in Spain and diaspora are affected by the economic downturn of their host countries. Many are distressed and want go back home. Is there any plan on ground back home to rehabilitate such people?


Ans. I don’t know about rehabilitating those coming back home. But coming to join the struggle to change Nigeria, yes, and no question about that, they are very welcome. Talking about the economic downturn, it’s obvious that this is a worldwide phenomenon. Most nations of the world are experiencing economic difficulties. The Nigerian hazards originated from mis-government over 16 years ago. The lack of vision, the lack of direction, the lack of that will to build a nation and create something that was not there before. To be precise, the PDP government seems to have been contented within this period sitting on the resources that we have, distributing it, consuming it without creating for the future, without building for the future, without putting the economy on the footing for a sustainable growth. That was the period we have excess crude account. Meaning that we had more money coming in than we have planned from the price of crude our main export. The time crude was sold 130 to $140/barrel. We had that kind of money, but we did not plan, we did not build a single petro-chemical complex, we did not build a single refinery, instead even in the midst of plenty, we were still importing refined crude.


That was how visionless and totally plan less the situation was before APC took over. So to come back directly to your question, we too, apart from that plan less-ness, we also are victims of this major collapse of the price of crude from 140 to 30 dollars a barrel which is over 70% drop. So as fathers, just imagine what happens when you go to work and at the end of the month you come back with an income 70% less than what you have been used to. That has put us today in a situation of lack of infrastructures and total lack of facilities. So if you are coming, you know you are coming to join the major struggle to rebuild the foundations of our nation. Our nation is potentially great, make no mistake about that, we are resource blessed, there’s no question about that. And with the type of leadership we have now, we are going to rebuild that foundation. But what I emphasize is that, like you are experiencing here, these are hard times. So the choice is yours, do you want to come home, come and join the struggle there won’t be any bed of roses, one has to be practical, and there won’t be any soft landing. The foundations have been badly fractured that we have to rebuild. Once we get it right, the sky is the limit for Nigeria. That is the only thing one can offer.


Que. We have an array of Nigerian professionals in diaspora, how can the government harness this opportunity to turn the issue of brain drain in Nigeria into brain gain?


Ans. There is no question at all, those of you professionals abroad, this is really the time your knowledge, skills, experience and expertise are required because this is not the age of professional politicians per say. We need technocrats to get us out of the mess the economy has been plunged into. So for those of you that have specialized knowledge and skills, this is the time and you must hasten otherwise we are not going to make the kind of progress at the rate we must put in place for our country to recover.


Que. What plans are in process for Nigerians in diaspora to vote in the next dispensation?



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